Greene was one of three relievers manager Brian Snitker suggested he wouldn't hesitate to use as a closer this season, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. The 31-year-old was lights-out as Detroit's closer in the first half last year, but he struggled in the role after being acquired by Atlanta and was quickly replaced by Mark Melancon in the ninth. Greene is also likely behind free-agent signee Will Smith in the pecking order, so while Snitker's vote of confidence to begin the spring is nice to see, Greene is a longshot to make a meaningful impact in the save category in 2020.
Greene lost his arbitration case against the Braves on Wednesday. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. The 31-year-old will earn $6.25 million this season, compared to the $6.75 million he had requested. Greene struggled with Atlanta down the stretch after being named to the All-Star Game in 2019, logging a 4.01 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 21 strikeouts across 24.2 innings. The veteran will begin the 2020 season battling Will Smith, Luke Jackson and Chris Martin for save opportunities as the Braves closer.
Greene struck out two in a perfect ninth inning to record his 23rd save of the season -- but his first with Atlanta -- in Friday's 4-3 win over the Nationals. Mark Melancon pitched Thursday night and struggled, opening the door for Greene to get his first save chance since Aug. 10, and the former Tigers closer didn't squander the opportunity. Greene seems to have overcome whatever issues he was experiencing following the trade to Atlanta, reeling off 13 straight scoreless appearances with a 14:2 K:BB over that stretch, but whether he's set to reclaim the ninth-inning role he was originally set for when he joined the club or if he will remain Melancon's understudy isn't yet clear.
Greene was charged with the blown save in Saturday's loss to the Marlins after giving up two hits and a walk over two-thirds of an inning, allowing three inherited runners to score. Newly anointed closer Mark Melancon entered with a four-run lead, but he gave up four one-out hits to create the save chance for Greene. The right-hander gave up a bases-loaded single and a bases-loaded double, but his defense helped him escape when the winning run was thrown out at the plate. Greene now has two blown saves with five runs allowed in his first five appearances (four innings) with the Braves.
Greene has lost his job as Atlanta's closer for the time being, Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Greene hasn't been able to find his groove since being dealt to the Braves, so skipper Brian Snitker will hand the closer's role to Mark Melancon for now. Given Greene's track record, he'll likely remain in a high-leverage role and could win back the job at a later date, though Melancon will be the primary closer for now, per Burns. Greene picked up a hold after allowing a hit and retiring one batter via the strikeout Friday night against the Marlins.